Difference between a Certified and Registered Dental Assistant
Careers within the dental industry are highly lucrative and exciting. With a plethora of both clinical and non-clinical opportunities, dental careers are ranked among the highest 100 best jobs around the globe. The industry sees a staggering employment growth each year, currently standing at 17.5 percent for 2018. To people interested in pursuing a professional dental career path, it can be quite confusing, not to mention overwhelming, choosing just one among the many options. While there are a number of reasons why this may be so, one of the factors contributing to this is the seeming interchangeability of several dental career fields. Though quite similar in terms, dental professions are quite different from one another, varying in job requirements, training, and education as well as job responsibilities. Here’s a look at the differences between some of the dental career paths.
Different Dentistry ProfessionsApart from dentists, alternative dental professions include dental technicians, dental hygienists, certified dental assistants, and registered dental assistants. Dental technicians, also called dental techs, are specialists who primarily work within the laboratory environment, responsible for structuring, constructing, fitting, and repairing various dental devices and appliances. A dental technician has very limited direct interaction with patients.
Registered Dental Assistant vs. Certified Dental AssistantThe difference between a certified and a registered dental assistant lies in the state that a professional chooses to practice in and the type of program they attended to qualify for this particular career path. Some states require dental assistants to be graduated from and registered with the American Dental Association through an accredited dental assisting program. A registered dental assistant needs to pass a written and clinical examination, as well as apply for a state license in order to practice professionally. A certified dental assistant, on the other hand, only attends and passes a dental assisting program, at the end of which they receive a certificate of completion. Local vocational or technical schools along with community colleges are known to offer a range of dental assisting programs. The registered dental assistant job responsibilities include the following:
- Instrument disinfection and sterilization
- Dental office preparation
- Obtaining patient’s dental records
- Handling and providing instrumentation during procedures
- Fluoride treatments
- Patient education on oral care
- Preparing x-ray machines, impression materials, cements, and anesthetics
- Patient handing and scheduling
- Maintenance of patient charts and reports
- Dental supply record and maintenance
- Billing management – accounts payable, and fee collections
- Insurance forms management